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Eng Course- MORAL AUTONOMY AND PERSONAL AUTONOMY- Download Free PDF


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Modern philosophers distinguish between personal autonomy and moral autonomy.1
Talk of personal autonomy evokes the image of a person in charge of his life, not
just following his desires but choosing which of his desires to follow. It is not an
immoral idea, but it has relatively little to do with morality. Those who value it do
not value it as part of the moral enterprise of reconciling one person’s interest with
another’s; instead they see it as a particular way of understanding what each
person’s interest consists in. Moral autonomy, by contrast, is associated specifically
with the relation between one person’s pursuit of his own ends and others’ pursuit
of theirs. This is particularly true of its Kantian manifestations. A person is
autonomous in the moral sense when he is not guided just by his own conception of
happiness, but by a universalized concern for the ends of all rational persons.
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